Chemistry is a tough subject for many students. They simply can’t get a grip on this subject! Having guided many students during chemistry tuition classes, chemistry tutor Mr. Joel Liu explains what makes chemistry so difficult for many students. An understanding of what makes chemistry difficult is the first step towards doing well in this subject!
Here are the 5 reasons that make chemistry hard for many students.
1. Chemical Symbols are Confusing
Why can’t the chemical symbol for Sodium be So instead of Na? Wouldn’t that make chemistry a lot easier? Turns out, these chemical symbols are based on their Latin names, which is why Na was used for Natrium which is the Latin name for Sodium. (Then why can’t they change it to English instead of Latin!) These chemical symbols can be confusing and difficult to grasp which creates an additional barrier to learning Chemistry.
2. Chemistry uses Math
For those mathematically challenged, another barrier in chemistry is the use of math in Chemistry. Whether is it calculating the number of moles or in balancing chemical equations, you just can’t run from math.
Sometimes students use their calculator and get -3.8 x 10^-3 as their answer, which might be correct but they interpret it as 0.00038 (it should be 0.0038). While it seems like these students find chemistry tough, it is actually their weak foundation in math that hinders them from excelling in chemistry.
3. Chemistry uses both memory and problem-solving skills
Some people excel in subjects that depend on memory work, like biology and history. Another group of people tends to excel in subjects that rely on logical thinking and problem-solving skills, like math and physics.
Chemistry is a unique subject that sits in between these two skills. Chemistry is a complex and tricky subject for most students, but this is not entirely true that it is difficult to subject.
The main reasons that make chemistry so hard and chemical concepts challenging for students are that they do not approach chemistry in the right way of learning.
If students follow the right strategies and techniques backed by research and science can improve their ability to study and learn chemistry. So, if anyone wants to learn chemistry, he must improve memory and problem-solving skills by following the right strategies and techniques.
4. Students can’t see Chemistry in real-life
Many times, students complain in frustration that “I can’t see the molecules! How do I know it is there?!” To which I usually reply, “Neither can I see your brain! Pretty sure it’s still there!” Everyone uses math on a daily basis to count money, while other students can see how biology is at work all the time, but students don’t use chemistry on an everyday basis and hence they find chemistry a hard subject. Students can also try some physics experiments at home, but it can be dangerous to try any chemistry experiments at home.
5. It is hard because everyone else says it’s hard!
Students can be easily influenced and sometimes they get influenced by their friends who find it tough. So before they even try to engage the subject, they already have the preconceived notion that it will be a subject they struggle in. Don’t be negatively influenced by peers. Instead, it helps to have an open mind when approaching chemistry. Once the basic concepts of chemistry and chemical symbols are fully grasped, it can be a wonderfully interesting subject. To conclude, chemistry is indeed a tough and hard subject that uses both memory and problem-solving skills. The chemical symbols also add another barrier to learning chemistry. However, this subject can be made easier by simple steps like drawing mind maps, putting in some effort to be familiar with the chemical symbols or brushing up on math. If your child is not doing well in school, here are 12 things you can do when your child doesn’t do well in exams.
5 Tips that make chemistry easy for everyone:
- Review and study the previous concept before going to class
- Seek understanding
- Practice daily
- Use flashcards
- Take good and easy notes
- Study in groups
- Focus on work not on grades
6. Some other reasons that make chemistry challenging
Chemistry is challenging and complex because you need to have a strong concept about various topics and ideas; you also need strong math. Some reasons that make chemistry so hard are:
- It would help if you had an entire lecture
To overcome the difficulty in chemistry, you need to attend every lecture.
- Lab work
Without lab work, you can master your subject, so focus on working in the lab, too, along with the entire lecture if you want to learn chemistry efficiently and effectively.
- Write-up after lab
Write all that you have done in the lab when you get free.
- Solutions to Problems
Focus on problems is very important for all students; never miss the solution to numerical problems.
- Chemical concepts
Learn all the chemical concepts because these concepts make chemistry hard for most students, so rewrite all the class concepts in your own words.
- Teaching styles applied in class
The in-appropriate teaching style makes chemistry a challenging subject, to make it easy for students teacher needs a high level of teaching training.
- Chemistry Uses Math
Students are learning math at the same time they are learning chemistry concepts.
- No visualization
No visualization of atoms, molecules, and compound in the lab
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